MANILA, Philippines – Former Commission on Elections chairman Christian Monsod was selected as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Joe C. Baxter Award from the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. said in a statement.
“We congratulate Chairman Monsod for empowering the Filipino people with his legacy of electoral reforms,” said Ambassador Jose Cuisia, also a former chair of the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel).
Monsod, founder of the Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE) and a leading figure of NAMFREL, was chosen for his role in reshaping electoral administration in the Philippines by building transparent processes and ensuring greater participation of traditionally marginalized populations.
“We thank IFES not only for this recognition of Chairman Monsod’s contributions but also for its own efforts to help strengthen the Philippine electoral process,” Cuisia added.
The award is presented annually to recognize the contribution of a professional whose skills, dedication and sacrifices to the field of election administration epitomize the mission of the NGO and embody the spirit of former IFES Senior Advisor for Election Administration, Joe C. Baxter. Baxter had a firm commitment to the principles of local ownership, transparency and sustainability of electoral administration.
IFES will hand the award to Monsod on November 5 in ceremonies in Washington D.C. which also marks the 25th anniversary of IFES.
The presentation of the Joe C. Baxter Award is the highlight of the US Election Program that IFES is hosting in Washington D.C. from November 4-7, 2012.
Over 300 election officials, parliamentarians and diplomats from over 50 countries will be in the US capital to observe the US presidential elections, as well as discuss elections and voting from comparative international perspectives.
The Washington-based NGO was established in 1987 to support citizen’s right to participate in free and fair elections around the globe. It has worked in over 135 countries, including the Philippines, by providing technical assistance to election officials; empowering underrepresented to participate in the political process; and applying field-based research to improve the electoral cycle.
In the Philippines, IFES is assisting in efforts to get more indigenous people (IP) to participate in next year’s elections by assisting the Inter-Agency and People’s Organization Network on Empowering IPs in the Electoral Process that was convened by the Comelec early this year.
IFES is assisting the working group by facilitating partnerships; sharing international standards and best practices on IP suffrage; and supporting the process of proposing electoral mechanisms that would benefit IP communities.